Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Danger and Opportunity"

As a student of leadership styles and materials, I have always appreciated fresh insights. One that has been around for a long time is this; the Chinese word for CRISIS combines DANGER and OPPORTUNITY.

We all face tough challenges. There are those experiences of emptiness. It puts us in CRISIS mode. Does every crisis bring an opportunity with it? Not necessarily. Some scholars suggest that the opportunity aspect of each crisis may be more akin to – how do I save my own neck?

There are 360,000 Christian congregations in America. Sixty thousand are thriving. Three hundred thousand are plateauing or declining. Does this crisis for the vast majority of congregations present both danger and opportunity? Maybe saving one’s neck is not the only option. Is there higher ground to be conquered in some new way? For many of the three hundred thousand congregations, it is difficult to even catch a whiff of optimism.

We focus on the three C’s; comfort, control, and consumption. Christians are no different from the culture protagonists all around us. We too are seduced by the consumer culture. Yes, we know consumption is bankrupt. Psychological enslavement to MORE is all too common.

Congregations need an epiphany. Maybe our focus needs to be less on money, sex and power, and more on courage, generosity, wholeness and wisdom.

Romans 12:19-21 says it all. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

What a marvelous formula for CRISIS that embraces both DANGER and OPPORTUNITY!


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